Build Guide by Valencian
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Hey everyone this is Eddy again and with the awesome help of CWheezy I'm going to help you with my favorite champion, Pantheon the Artisan of War.
edit: 12/1 With the Pantheon changes in the newest patch, HSS is now pretty viable midgame. Consider leveling priority to be R>Q>E>W until further mathcrafting has been done.
The only thing Pantheon needs is Attack Damage. Why? He is a burst champion and relies completely on that single stat to be effective early, mid, and late game. This is because his two primary damage spells (plus his auto attack) all rely on Attack Damage. Things like Crit, Attack Speed, etc. are therefore all secondary issues for him.
Doran's Blade + Health Pot to start out. Doran's Blade gives you much-needed survivability via Health, while also giving you a nice damage boost which helps with the harass.
Merc Treads. Merc Treads are incredibly useful, since you're a very squishy man and need to minimize the amount of CC you're placed under, both to survive AND to continue to do your damage. You also have a base movespeed of 330 (+9 including the utility masteries), which makes you quite a runner already. Boots of Swiftness is a luxury item, and is generally not used if the enemy team has any CC at all.
Brutalizer (I rarely upgrade this into Youmuu's Ghostblade, only after Infinity Edge has been completed, when additional Crit is desirable)
After getting the above items, just save up for a BF Sword. A BF Sword is the best gold-to-AD ratio in the game, not counting a fully charged Sword of the Occult. If you're having a lot of trouble, get another Doran's Blade and keep farming up.
Turn the BF Sword into a Bloodthirster, and keep farming up for another BF Sword. Turn that second one into an Infinity Edge. The Infinity Edge makes your autocrits on low-health champions into death sentences.
At this point, most of your games should be over. If not, and they're heavily focusing you, grab a Guardian Angel, for increased survivability and generally making the other team want to not focus you down first.
GENERAL PANTHEON NOTES:
Pantheon is considered, using this build, to be a very fragile burst melee caster. He has a sub-2000 base HP at level 18, and has no escapes outside of Ghost and Flash. This is why you're going to take Ghost and Flash. Some people like to take Revive for the ult-in, but in my style of play I ult to get into teamfights, and thus Revive would generally be wasted.
You can never initiate a teamfight with your ult. Do not attempt this. Wait until your tank has run in and several cooldowns have been popped by the enemy team. Always go for the squishiest person. If you've positioned your ult favorably, you can get to the squishy without having to wade through his or her beefy bodyguards. You can take great advantage of the confusion in a teamfight. Just ping when you're ulting in, and communicate with your team.
When you hit six, that signals ganking season. Your target is anyone who is overextended, or at less than half health, or anyone who has no escapes. If your teammates have stuns, abuse them. Time your stun right after theirs, or vice versa.
Your burst combo is and will be until the late game: Q, W, auto attack, Q. After you have obtained a high amount of AD and your E has been leveled up, drop your E down after your W leap.
EDIT: after the 12/1 tweaks, the combo is more or less now Q-W-E-Q.
Down turrets any chance you can. You want to end the game as quickly as possible, while you still have a clear advantage. Your ult makes you incredibly mobile; abuse that fact by pushing the lane every time you score a successful gank. Towers are more important than kills, but kills certainly help you down towers easier!
On Twisted Treeline and the Harrowing Map, your ult is bugged and the circle won't show. Abuse the hell out of this. On the normal Summoner's Rift, it will be shown, so you will have to practice landing it. This comes primarily with experience, but you can still funnel champions the way you want them to go by the big red circle. Place it behind them while they are pushing, so they are caught between your tower and your circle, or if you have the mana to pull your full combo even after your jump, jump from a brush patch, where your ult won't show.
Blue buff and Red buff are both amazing on you; Red buff should be given to ranged carries but Blue buff is pretty fair game for you.
You are Pantheon, the manliest man who ever manned up to participate in the League of Legends. You are also extremely squishy. You want to solo mid preferably, or failing that duo-lane with someone who has great synergy as you (Janna, Sion, Taric, etc). Either way, your build and skill order should not change. Your Q harass is insane, and on an extremely short cooldown. You should be able to last hit very easily without too much fear of counter-harass due to your passive, but always be on the lookout, and don't take damage without returning any yourself.
Early/mid game is your playground. You can gank the sidelanes easily with your ult - just note that it is very advisable to be in your fountain when casting this initially, since your mana pool will be half-way gone just from the ult otherwise, which might make you unable to cast a spell you desperately need (the would-be killing spear shot, for example). Ulting from the fountain gives you a lot more flexibility to use all the moves you need as often as you need during the gank attempt. You can take kills from the enemy mid like candy from a baby - your early game is one of the best, and your burst combo is what makes it all happen. Pop a Q, then W, then auto attack or hit E and wait until your Q is up again. Ghost to finish them off if needed. You can tower dive to a great extent thanks to your passive, and Flash out if things start looking too rough.
Late game is more complicated - this guide focuses on a continued DPS role rather than the alternative off-tanky role. You continue to be a top-notch assassin, but you must learn to gauge when to drop your ult. Wait until the enemy has engaged your tank, and a few CCs have already been deployed before dropping in. Immediately focus down their carry, and Flash out if you have to. Generally, you want to linger around the perimeter of the fight, and never expose yourself or overextend. Understand that your role is to eliminate any and all squishies on their team, but do not become Rambo to do so.
Armor Penetration Marks and Quints to beef up his damage
Mana Regen / Lvl seals + Flat Mana Glyphs: in conjunction with the masteries in utility, your mana problems will be greatly alleviated. I personally take Mana Regen / Lvl Glyphs as well, but CWheezy likes the flat mana glyphs for the extra early game harass that is enabled by it.
0/9/21. Why? First, the Offense tree is terrible for Pantheon; he doesn't need the minor boosts the tree gives him, especially if it means giving up the massive bonuses enabled in the defense or utility tree. Second, Pantheon is a very squishy hero, and the 9 points in Defense greatly boost his early game survival skills - I chose the health regeneration talents over the dodge talents because I didn't go for dodge seals, minimizing the effectiveness of the dodge talents, whereas the flat mana glyphs synergize well with the health regen talents. Third, the Utility tree is the best tree for the majority of champions, offering great bonuses (improved Ghost, improved Flash, Presence of the Master, Meditation, etc) that give boosts to all the phases of Pantheon's game.